Talmage C. Hughes was born in 1887 in Alabama. He earned his bachelor's degree in architecture from Alabama Polytechnic Institute in 1910 and a master's in architecture there in 1911. He also attended Columbia University as a graduate student in 1911-12. Hughes worked as an architect in Fort Wayne, Ind., Chicago, and Alma, Mich., before coming to Detroit around 1916.
He worked with the firm Smith, Hinchman & Grylls before associating with Jerome Darling in 1917. He then worked briefly for the legendary architect Albert Kahn before establishing his own practice in 1921.
Hughes was the executive secretary of the Detroit Chapter of the American Institute of Architects from 1932 to his death in 1963 and the Michigan Society of Architects from 1926, and served in numerous other professional and public service organizations. He was the editor and publisher of the monthly bulletin of the Michigan Society of Architects. Gov. G. Mennen Williams appointed him to the State Board of Registration for Architects in 1953-54.
Hughes is probably best known for his suburban homes and Detroit theater work, including the State Theatre in Wayne, Mich. (1947), the Emcee Theatre in Mt. Clemens, Mich. (1947), the Delux Theatre in Utica, Mich. (1949), and the Eastwood Theatre in East Detroit, now known as Eastpointe, Mich. (1949). He claimed that his 999 Whitmore apartment building was the “only all-duplex apartment building.”
Hughes died Jan. 24, 1963.